The BMW M1 Pro Car racing series was a short-lived championship with an all-star driver lineup, but somehow it failed to become a big thing in motorsports. However, one racing livery from that period managed to remain in the collective memory, and that is BASF. It was simple and almost psychedelic with all those circles and the red base. But it looked cool and contrasted with the sharp lines of the M1.
Although cigarettes were often advertised on racing cars, chewing tobacco was also represented in the form of the Skoal Bandit livery. The company sponsored dozens of race cars in North America, from Indy cars to NASCAR stockers. The white and green scheme looked cool, especially with its bandana-wearing outlaw on the hood of the car.
Coors beer is a well-known brand in America, so it was logical that sooner or later this company would enter the world of motorsports. In the mid-80s, one of the fastest stock cars was Bill Eliot’s Thunderbird. The red and gold paint job made it even more memorable and iconic among NASCAR fans.
Another brewing company that made an everlasting mark on the world of motorsport is Miller Beer. During the late ’80s, this company was well represented in NASCAR, as well as in the IMSA Championship. The gold and white cars were not only successful but also eye-catching.
Valvoline, an oil and lubricant manufacturer, has been present in motorsports for decades. Their red, white and blue logo is perfect for a race car livery. Even though it uses some ordinary color choices and shapes, it is still elegant and works on any race car.
The Pennzoil Company is using an old trick. If you want your race car to stand out, paint it in a bright color and make sure you sponsor the right team. That is why the bright orange cars with big black lettering are so recognizable. You can’t help remembering this speeding orange blur when you watch any race.
BMW Art Car
One of the more recent race car liveries that secured a place in automotive history is the Jeff Koons BMW Art Car. They call it the Art Car since BMW hired an American artist to dress up the M3 race car for the AMLS Championship. He did an interesting job painting the BMW into a kaleidoscope of bright colored lines to emphasize the speed and performance of the M3.
Apple Computer Porsche
In the early ’80s, personal computers were just dÃ©cor in many sci-fi movies, so the newly-founded Apple Computer Company decided to sponsor a Porsche 935 race car. It was a bold move and the legendary Bobby Rahal was the driver of the car. The rainbow scheme with its signature apple logo on a white base became well-known and also promoted the company.
Datsun made its name by racing in the Trans-Am championship in the early ’70s. Their partner was a racing team called Brook Racing Enterprise that helped prepare the cars and win races. By using the classic but always effective red, white and blue color scheme, this little 510 become recognizable. Better still, by winning the championship, those little cars became legendary.
Toyota has been involved in racing since the late ’60s with a string of successful race cars in several of motorsports series. However, it didn’t have a signature racing livery until the early ’80s with the IMSA Celica. The paint scheme was simple yet elegant and dynamic with its white base with orange and red stripes. Along with the IMSA Celica success and race wins, this became Toyota’s first and most popular combination.
The Porsche 917 was a tremendously successful racing car that appeared in several legendary liveries including Gulf Racing. However, this car belongs on this list since it is crazy and highly recognizable. In fact, this Porsche caused a quite the sensation in 1971 when it entered the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a pink car with butcher’s marks on it. Apparently, designer Anatole Lepine decided to paint the car like that since he thought the car was chubby like a pig with all its aerodynamic enhancements and mechanics.
Tic Tac BMW
The partnership between the manufacturer of mints and a BMW racing team may sound strange, but it produced one of the coolest paint jobs ever on one of the most successful touring cars they ever made. In the early ’90s, Tic Tac sponsored the BMW M3 E30, which dominated the race tracks in Europe. They painted the car in green with dozens and dozens of white patches to symbolize Tic Tac mints.
They used a similar idea on the legendary M&M’s NASCAR cars. The candy manufacturer put their famous product on the car, so there wouldn’t be any confusion as to who was sponsoring the NASCAR stocker. The idea worked and people loved to see their high-speed candy running on those superspeedways.
Javelin Trans Am
Although most people have forgotten it today, the AMC Javelin had an impressive racing career in the early ’70s Trans AM championship. However, people still remember the simple yet patriotic red, white and blue paint combination, which was basically a factory logo they put on the car. The livery was basic, but it looked cool and promoted the car in the right way.
These are the 30 greatest racing liveries of all time. While some are gone, many still remain to this day. So, the next time you watch a race, look for these classics flying around the track.